CTV announced today that it had acquired the rights to the iconic “Hockey Night in Canada” song. Most people ’round these parts seem to want to talk about how CBC was wrong-footed on this one; the conventional wisdom is that CBC looks foolish in failing to re-acquire a license for the tune. That may be so, although it seems to me likely that – had the Mother Corpse thrown a pile of money at the rights holder just to nail down the song – people would have been just as busy bellyaching about a publicly-funded broadcaster lavishing funds extravagantly on a mere overture to the weekly exhibition of hockey. Whatever the truth of the matter, my point is that patrons of donut shops coast to coast would – and do – have no shortage of second guessing and “obvious” wisdom to offer free of charge, delivered between gulps of coffee and with an accompanying spray of cruller dust, for the dunderhead bureaucrats and anyone else within earshot.
My own parochial interest was piqued more by this little chestnut, hidden near the end of the linked article:
Earlier Monday, CBC had announced it asked Toronto sports lawyer Gord Kirke to mediate negotiations between the public broadcaster and Copyright Music and Visuals, the company that controls the song’s rights.
Yes, that’s right, the CBC wanted to hire Gord Kirke – THAT Gord Kirke! The one that’s supposed to be taxed to the max by his many demanding duties on the committee the Toronto Maple Leafs have struck to find The One, the G.M. that will lead Leafs fans into the promised land after our own little version of Exodus, lo these forty years (yes, that was a cheap “1967” reference. I’m entitled to one a year.)
Haven’t the Leafs been assuaging the worst fears of their fans – that the lack of obvious activity towards achieving this goal is in fact reflective of the actual level of activity going on within MLSE – by assuring us all that a very thorough and exhaustive search was being conducted in order to identify the perfect candidate for the position, and that the organization would not be rushed into making a selection simply for the sake of having someone in place come draft day? Haven’t they in effect been telling us that Gord Kirke and the rest of the committee are busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest, and don’t you worry your pretty little head about it, they’ve rolled up their sleeves, they’re pulling all-nighters on this one, but dammit we’re gonna do the job right?
Doesn’t it sound a little bit like that’s all – and this next passage is a technical term, please try to follow along – bullshit? To me, this sounds a little like Mr. Kirke is the kind of “busy” that you used to be when your Mom asked you to mow the lawn: “Oh, wow, I’d love to, Mom, but I’ve got this killer report due in third period geography on Tuesday, and the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment board is also kind of hoping I’d have a GM hired by then.” In other words, too busy to mow the lawn, but NOT too busy to go whip donuts at passing buses with your best buddy.
If Gord Kirke and the search committee is so damn busy, how the hell does he have time to be even considering taking other jobs? I appreciate the fact that the story indicates CBC was approaching Kirke, rather than the other way around, but what’s the likelihood that CBC isn’t plugged into Kirke’s level of activity on the GM question, tied as they are to the apron strings of Maple Leaf broadcast money – money that gets more and more plentiful the more successful the Leafs become, as the playoff runs of 1993 and 1994 proved beyond any shadow of a doubt? If Gord Kirke is truly busy with the GM search, and I’m talking “juggling chainsaws while he puts out a four alarm fire, dances a jig, writes an opera and rescues a puppy” busy, no way does anyone at CBC throw out his name as a dude that might be able to help them in their time of crisis.
I wonder what other occupations and pre-occupations might currently be engaging Mr. Kirke, in addition to his many exhausting headhunting labours on behalf of the Bay Street Mint? He could be:
- operating a lemonade stand – can’t let the first heat wave of the season go unexploited, and 25 cents a glass for some water, sugar and citrus flavouring is market waiting to be exploited. Look for the chain of stands with 16 oz glasses of “product” that comes in a plastic cup with Bryan McCabe’s picture on it, and retails for eight bucks plus tax;
- trying to get through Grand Theft Auto IV;
- watching Cheers marathon on Deja Vu – currently enjoying seventeenth consecutive “Coach” episode, struck by similarities between Ernie Pantuso and former employee John Ferguson Jr.;
- totally working up the courage to flirt with that hot chick behind the counter at Timothy’s coffee shop under the TD Centre: “Hey, baby, I can get centre ice reds for you. Of course there is the matter of the seat licence; now, if you’ll let me take some licence with your seat…”
- trying to learn how to belch the alphabet. Currently making it regularly up to “q”, only vomited once;
- secretly hiding shit from Cliff Fletcher’s desk when Fletcher takes a time out in the executive crapper, then wondering aloud whether Fletch may be beginning to suffer from Alzheimer’s when Cliff expresses frustration at not being able to find his fucking stapler; and
- helping O.J. look for the “real killer”.
Seriously, Gord and his buddies couldn’t convey their intentions any more clearly at this point if they hired a skywriter to author an airborne message to the following effect: “Dude. Chill out. We totally have Brian Burke’s phone number. He just has to work some shit out, man.”